How to Stop Robocallers and Scammers from Flooding Your Phone

Spam calls are annoying, and they might be increasing in frequency. Last year, the Federal Trade Commission received over 375,000 complaints about spam calls each month.

Whether they’re robocalls, scammers or fraudsters, there’s no doubt that these calls can be annoying — and even dangerous, in some cases.

Luckily, if you’ve found yourself on the receiving end of (too many) of these calls, there are a number of things you can try to stop them, or at least, slow them down.

How to Stop Robocalls

There are a number of options for iOS users to stop robocalls. Some of them rely on your carrier’s built-in services, while others are more manual in nature.

Either way, if you’ve been annoyed at the number of scam calls you’ve been receiving, try these solutions.

1. Use Your Carrier’s Built-In Service

If you’re on AT&T or T-Mobile, then you might be able to take advantage of built-in scam call blocking for free.

  • AT&T’s service is called Call Protect, and it’s a free app available for all postpaid customers.
  • T-Mobile has its network-level Scam ID and Scam Block services, which are also free to postpaid subscribers.
  • Sprint and Verizon customers will need to pay an extra fee ($2.99 a month), however, to activate their carrier’s call-blocking feature: Premium Caller ID and Caller Name ID, respectively.

2. Just Try Blocking the Number

Alternatively, you can just try blocking an individual scam number. This won’t stop calls from other numbers, but it could be useful if you receive a slew of calls from a single one.

If you don’t receive too many scam calls, you can block the ones that do come in. The end result, at the very least, is that you won’t receive repeat calls from those offenders.

  • On iOS, just go to your recent calls in the Phone app.
  • Find the perpetrator and tap the corresponding blue (i) icon.
  • Scroll down and tap Block this Caller.

3. Use a Third-Party App

There are several apps that claim to automatically block scam phone calls. Unfortunately, a lot of them cost money (but there are a few that are free that work pretty well).

Most of them rely on a regularly updated list of scam numbers. And, in iOS at least, some of these apps will have the ability to stop these calls from ever ringing your device.

RoboKiller and Nomorobo are two paid options, while Hiya and Mr. Number are two good free ones.

You will need to grant the app access to the Phone app and Caller ID within Settings.

4. Consider Using Do Not Disturb

If you’re on iOS, you can also simply activate Do Not Disturb for more of a “scorched earth” solution.

The upside is that all non-solicited calls will be blocked, except those who you pre-designate ahead of time. The downside is that you might not receive important calls from actual legitimate sources.

You can turn on Do Not Disturb via the Control Center while setting preferences for the feature is done via Settings > Do Not Disturb.

Additional Tips

  • Don’t blindly trust local numbers. Scam callers have gotten good at spoofing numbers with your local area code. A good rule of thumb is to ignore calls from unknown numbers and just wait for a voicemail to roll in. If it doesn’t, it might have been a scam call.
  • Don’t let scammers know you exist. The last thing you want to do is let scam callers know there’s a real person on your end of the phone. Don’t push any keys or say anything, whether it’s a real person or a robocaller.
  • Add yourself to the Do Not Call registry. You can do so here, though the caveat is that it’ll only affect calls from legitimate telemarketers. The FTC says it takes about a month for telemarketers to stop dialing your number once it’s been added.

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Source: Mike Peterson